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26th July 2013

UK beer sales down 4.8 per cent in Q2 – new ‘Beer Barometer’ from the BBPA

 ·         Total beer sales down 4.8 per cent in Q2 2013


·         Pub beer sales down 5.8 per cent


·         Off-trade down 3.6 per cent



UK beer sales fell by 4.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2013, according to the British Beer & Pub Association’s quarterly Beer Barometer, published today. Losses in the on-trade (pubs, bars and restaurants) were higher at 5.8 per cent. Off-trade sales also fell, but the 3.6 per cent fall was the lowest second quarter fall since 2005. The BBPA is pointing out that these latest figures are compared to a quarter last year that included Euro 2012 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and double bank holiday.

  While more good weather would bring the prospect of a more promising third quarter, the figures show the continuing need for supportive tax policy from the Government, says the BBPA, following the historic two per cent cut in beer duty and abolition of the beer duty escalator in the Chancellor’s Budget. From March 2008 to March 2013, beer duty had risen by 42 per cent.


  Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, comments: “The figures clearly show that the market for one of our iconic products is still very challenging. The benefits of the beer duty tax cut, and the increased investment that this will bring to the beer and pub sector, will take time to bear fruit. Yesterday’s financial results saw brewers and pub companies stepping up investment and focusing on export markets.


 “The ending of the escalator means that next year’s automatic, above-inflation tax increase has been cancelled, and quite rightly.  However, the Government should continue to look for ways to help the sector.”






For further information please contact:




David Wilson, Director of Public Affairs: 020 7627 9151/ 07557 436 033


Gareth Barrett, Public Affairs Officer Tel: (020) 7627 9154


Neil Williams – Head of Media: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779




Notes to editors:




The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector.  Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and around half of Britain’s 50,000 pubs.




1.      Full Beer Barometer excel tables can be downloaded from the BBPA website here




2.      Beer sales support around one million jobs and generate nearly £8 billion in tax revenues.



3.      Beer is a leading British Manufactured good, with 87 per cent of beer consumed in the UK, brewed in the UK.




4.      Beer duty was due to rise by 5.2 per cent in the Budget, but was instead cut by 2 per cent. The Chancellor also abolished the controversial Beer Duty ‘escalator’, and thus also cancelled the above-inflation increase due in March 2014. Prior to the Budget on 20th March 2013, beer duty had risen by 42 per cent, following the introduction of the escalator by the previous government in March 2008.




5.      The BBPA has a long-established and authoritative reputation for the publication of statistics on the UK’s brewing and pub sector. The BBPA’s Beer Barometer is generally available within one month of quarter-end. Data is sourced directly from the Association’s brewing members, and accounts for 100 per cent of all beer sold in the UK.




6.      In addition to the data available with this press release more detailed data is available to purchase from the BBPA. This includes a more detailed look at category performance and monthly breakdowns. For information about the data that BBPA sells, please contact David Sheen.